|How political parties increase the risk of inappropriate policy decisions|
There is little doubt that the people of Britain need to complete the process of building a freer and fairer society founded upon an expanded, more equitable basis for people to participate in the decisions which affect them. Participating in decisions means shaping them as opposed to simply voting on ready-made proposals fashioned by factions working within the confines of political parties. There is a need to move closer to a Parliamentary system where the House of Commons becomes generally acknowledged to be the abode of an assembly of representatives with each member motivated and free to represent the true will of the people. This means declaring, through legal constitutional means, the whip system to be illegal and that members can be removed from office if they accept orders or allow themselves to be influenced by political party operatives.
The electorate needs to become more involved in determining their future by participating in General Elections, not geared towards the election of some "national" political factions but rather with each constituency electing people considered to be worthy of the trust of voters as being faithful representatives of the constituency. Members must represent the interests of their electorates free of distorting dogma and pre-defined policy structures and guildelines. Members of Parliament must be free agents since on no other basis would they have the flexibility to accommodate and represent the freely expressed preferences of their electorates.
This process of emancipation can only take place if the electorate demands a curtailment of the constant undermining of our Constitutional provisions by political parties.
The manipulation of constitution
There is a well-developed constitutional rhetoric about the freedom of the people of the United Kingdom and which people believe is supported by the "mother of Parliaments" at Westminster. On closer inspection however, this reveals itself to be an insidious propaganda promoted largely by the political parties whose elected members remain the main beneficaries of an unrepresentative system. The fact that a tiny private organization can receive public funds to support their election campaigns and lever their status from one with a membership of less than 1% of the electorate to one of gaining control of the whole government machine on the basis of just 19% of the electorate's support, is an extraordinary state of affairs. In broad terms democracy is defined as government by the people through their elected representatives. But such a transparent system does not exist since government in the United Kingdom is normally dominated by just one minority faction and the rule of that government is not by the people but by the party. As a result most decisions are taken not in line with the will of the people but rather by the will of party operatives, many of whom are not elected. Such a system is open to abuse in the form that others, especially lobbies and private groups with funds to give the political parties, gain an unfair advantage in influencing government decision-making, on many occasions to their specific advantage. The result is that a government representing the majority (a figment of the imagination under the current electoral system) take decisions to support the financial interests of their party and those who provide funds to the party. This corruption of a constitution declared to be a champion of British freedoms is the modus operandi of British political parties. A glimpse of this separation of morality and equity from declared constitutional intent was exposed in the self-serving system of allowances hidden by a self-serving oversight of the system all run by MPs to their own benefit. The excuse that they were following the rules, when they themselves drew up and administered such rules operated on a nod and a wink basis, is simply unacceptable.
Political parties destroy freedom
As we trudge through the range of manipulations of political parties it becomes apparent that political parties, far from being central to Parliamentary democracy and the defence of freedom, are the main cause of their destruction. It is clear that such factions need to be removed from the application of the constitution by reducing their already exaggerated political power. Such tiny private organizations with, at most, 0.5% of the electorate as members simply do not possess the intellectual critical mass to manage the complexity of the affairs of the people of this country and at the same time respond to the diversity of preferences across the constituencies. In decision analysis terms the political party system places the whole country at a risk of poor decision-making resulting in economic chaos. We have seen this occur leading up to and in the aftermath of the three main economic crises of the 1920s, 1970s and currently. Thus the price of macroeconomic incompetence, that is economic policy-making in the hands of thr governing political party, or parties, has always been remedies placing many people out of work and programmes of austerity. When facing economic chaos the solutions proposed and implemented, such as under the current state of affairs, are over-dimensioned, inefficient and lay a heavy burden on the people of the country for generations to come. In the end we need to realise that such small private organizations are not geared to handling such complex affairs let alone a £500 billion public sector budget. This is readily apparent when governments shuffle ministers and one sees the same presentable individuals reappearing under different portfolios whereas at the fringes the competence of cabinets can be see to erode significantly as a government progresses. In constitutional terms the political party system should be relying upon intellectual and management capabilities which the British political parties do not possess because of their very low membership. The problem is also that the types of people who go in for politics seem to be resembling the trend observed in Eastern Europe, of trying to better themselves rather than the country. The sense of vocation as something intimately linked to broader constitutional objectives of upholding the freedom of the poeople of Britain has been long lost. This significant weakness in our system cannot be solved by political parties "reforming themselves" but rather by removing political parties from the political scene.